Decision 2014

Patrick, Van de Putte Running Close Financial Race

Republican Sen. Dan Patrick and Democratic Sen. Leticia Van de Putte are running a tight financial race to be the next Texas lieutenant governor.

According to campaign fundraising numbers released this week, Patrick has raised nearly $7.8 million since he started his campaign in July 2013. Patrick, who ran a bitter primary against Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, attributes about $1 million of that money to the post-runoff donations. Patrick has about $950,000 in cash on hand.

Democrat Leticia Van de Putte, meanwhile, has $1.6 million in her campaign bank account. Van de Putte, who ran unopposed during the primary, has raked in a total of $2.3 million since her campaign launched last November; about four months after Sen. Patrick announced his candidacy.

Abbott Posts Record-Breaking Fundraising Totals

Attorney General Greg Abbott released his own record-breaking fundraising totals Tuesday. Abbott raised $11.1 million in the last four months, bringing his total cash on hand to nearly $36 million. According to the Abbott campaign, that is more cash on hand than any other candidate in Texas history.

The Abbott campaign also pointed out that 95 percent of his contributions came from Texas.

“The strength of this campaign builds each day, and we continue to be overwhelmed by the support we’re receiving from across Texas,” Abbott Campaign Manager Wayne Hamilton said. “We are incredibly thankful to the many Texans who have contributed to our effort to ensure that Greg Abbott can continue to travel the state promoting his vision to improve education, grow jobs, preserve freedom and ultimately achieve victory in November.”

The Democratic nominee, State Sen. Wendy Davis, has raised a total of $27 million and has about $13 million in the bank. Those totals include money donated to Battleground Texas and the Texas Victory Committee.

Davis Campaign Reports $27 Million in Campaign Contributions

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis has raised $27 million in her bid for governor. According to the campaign, $11.2 million of that was raised between February and June and the average donation was about $105 dollars. After expenditures, the campaign has about $13 million in the bank.

The money raised includes contributions made directly to the campaign, as well as money donated to Battleground Texas and the Texas Victory Committee, which is a joint fundraising venture for Sen. Davis and Battleground Texas.

The campaign is calling its campaign finance figures “historic.” “Not only has this campaign raised record-breaking resources from more than 140,000 grassroots supporters, we have made unprecedented investments on the ground and online that will translate the excitement for Wendy Davis into votes on Election Day,” said campaign spokesman Zac Petkanas.

The Davis campaign likely still has a massive financial disadvantage. As of the last reporting period, Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott had nearly $30 million in cash on hand. He has not announced his totals for this reporting period yet.

New Abbott Ad Hits the Silver Screen

The next time you go to the movies, you might find yourself screening a new ad in the governor’s race. Attorney General Greg Abbott is airing a 30-second spot at two dozen movie theaters across Texas. It urges patrons to text their support for the Republican’s run for governor. According to the Abbott campaign, this ad appears to be the first of its kind.

Capital Tonight: Non-Governmental Groups Describe Efforts to Aid Immigrant Kids

The conventions are over, and now the candidates for governor are back on the campaign trail. For the Wendy Davis team, that means going after Attorney General Greg Abbott for his handling of a legal decision on dangerous chemicals. Meanwhile, Abbott’s campaign is choosing to put Davis’ supporters on the spot. 
In Wednesday’s Capital Tonight, we checked in on the newest chapter in the fight for the state’s top political spot.

POLITICAL ANALYSIS

Harvey Kronberg joined us to give his take on the day’s political news, including a new report from The Dallas Morning News on donations from the head of Koch Industries’ fertilizer division to Attorney General Abbott.

BORDER REPORT

While federal and state officials flock to the border demanding answers, humanitarian groups are figuring out how they can help. We spoke to Bee Moorhead from the Texas Interfaith Center about how religious leaders are working together. Plus, Austin attorney Jay Brim talked about the effort to pull together unpaid legal help for the kids involved.

TWCNews-Video

Capital Tonight: Convention-al Proceedings and the Fight for Texas

 

We visited our reporters on-scene in Dallas to see how the Texas State Democratic Convention is going, and checked in on some big names. Democrat Joaquin Castro, U.S. Rep. for San Antonio, District 20 joined us Friday. He answered our questions regarding the viability of their party, the immigration situation in South Texas, and his brother’s expected promotion to Washington. Also, we asked his opinion on some unconventional strategies which Republicans hope will dampen the festivities in Dallas this weekend.

POLITICAL PREDICTIONS

Democrats weren’t the only ones busy this weekend. Attorney General Greg Abbott, Republican candidate for Texas Governor, visited South Texas to view the detention centers housing Central American minors. A sharp increase in numbers of youths crossing the border has spurred action from several Texas political players. We spoke with Abbott to hear his solution to what some are calling a “humanitarian crisis.” Campaigns for November elections hit the ground running after each party’s state convention. In the last straight away, Republican strategist Rob Johnson and Democratic strategist Harold Cook helped us review the race and predict who’s going to pull ahead. The next few months are crucial for all the campaigns, and here at Capital Tonight, we tried to determine their next steps.

REPORTER ROUNDTABLE

Erica Grieder with Texas Monthly and Reeve Hamilton with the Texas Tribune joined us to discuss education and security. University of Texas Regent Wallace Hall has come under investigation for suspicious activity, and as the scandal approaches resolution, we talked about possible outcomes. Then, a story far from resolution, the border security concern prompted blame, but who’s really at fault? We dug into the issue in the Reporter Roundtable.

Abbott Launches First General Election Ad, in Spanish

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott is reaching out directly to Hispanic voters in his first general election TV campaign ad. The Spanish language spot, titled “Contamos,” features Abbott’s sister and mother-in-law, who are Hispanic. The ad will debut on Univision during the World Cup match between Brazil and Mexico. According to the campaign, the commercial will continue running on Spanish language networks throughout the World Cup.

““The story of my family mirrors the story of Texas – we are multi-cultural,” Abbott said. “The vision that I’ve outlined in my campaign for governor is one that unites all Texans – regardless of race, religion or zip code – the same way my family has been united. As governor, I will fight for a better future for all Texans.”

The English translation is below:

ROSIE PHALEN: “Meeting your in-laws is never easy.”
MARY LUCY PHALEN: “But when we met Greg Abbott, we knew that he was someone special.”
ROSIE PHALEN: “His values are our values. Faith, family and honesty.”
MARY LUCY PHALEN: “He is a loving husband and father to Cecilia and Audrey.”
ROSIE PHALEN: “For more than 30 years, Greg has been someone that we could count on.”
MARY LUCY PHALEN: “And as governor, Texas can count on him too.”

Capital Tonight: Van de Putte Reacts to New Poll Numbers

With the Republican state convention now in the political rearview mirror, Texas Democrats are less than a couple of weeks out until they gather in Dallas.

In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we spoke to Sen. Leticia Van de Putte about helping to lead her party’s ticket, the Republican stance on immigration reform and new poll numbers that show her trailing her Republican opponent, Sen. Dan Patrick, by double digits.

PLATFORM PROTEST

Democrats aren’t the only ones reacting to the decisions made at the Republican convention last week. Texas Young Republicans are rejecting their party’s platform, saying it’s too long and that it drifts from core party philosophies. We heard from one young Republican about what her generation would rather see.

ON THE AGENDA

Plus, the Quorum Report‘s Harvey Kronberg joined us to weigh in on the lieutenant governor’s race and the Tea Party’s impact in Texas.

Abbott Maintains Double-Digit Lead Over Davis

The latest University of Texas / Texas Tribune poll shows Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott with a double-digit lead over Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis. The poll, conducted between May 30th and June 8th, favored Abbott over Davis, 44 to 32 percent. Those results are similar to a UT/TT poll conducted in February, when Abbott held an 11-point lead.

The Wendy Davis campaign was quick to point out that Abbott has yet to crack the 50-percent threshold, calling Abbott the “weakest GOP governor candidate in two decades.” Campaign spokesman Zac Petkanas released this statement:

“Once again unable to crack 50%, Greg Abbott is proving to be one of the weakest Republican candidates for governor in two decades. Despite throwing the kitchen sink at Wendy Davis, he’s moving in the wrong direction and energizing our volunteer army – the largest in Texas history – to take advantage of this vulnerability by bringing hundreds of thousands of new voters into the process who won’t be reflected in any poll until they show up on Election Day.”

These numbers, however, may not be far off previous trends. According to James Henson, who co-directed the poll, Gov. Rick Perry held a four point lead over Democrat Bill White  during June polling for the 2012 election.

 

 

 

Capital Tonight: Texas Republicans Remain Split over Platform Language

For Republicans in Texas, Fort Worth is the place to be this week. That’s where Attorney General Greg Abbott officially accepted his party’s nomination to run for governor at the 2014 Texas GOP Convention, and it’s where delegates are working hard behind the scenes to come to a consensus on the official record of the party’s beliefs.

In Friday’s Capital Tonight, we put together highlights from Abbott, Sen. Ted Cruz and other big-name speakers at today’s event, and we looked behind the scenes at the fight over anti-gay language in the party platform.

FROM THE FLOOR

There are always multiple storylines during these state conventions, and the staff of the Quorum Report can be counted on to have an ear to the ground about all of them. We spoke to Scott Braddock from the convention floor about the mood from delegates, the level of support for Abbott and more.

REPORTER ROUNDTABLE

From a twist in the school finance case to a short-lived dispute over open-carry,there was plenty of other political news to get to Friday. We sat down with Lauren McGaughy of the Houston Chronicle and Terrence Stutz of The Dallas Morning News to put it all in context.